I volunteered to be a judge for the RITA contest this year. The RITA is a contest sponsored by the RWA (Romance Writer's of America) every year. It covers the full gambit of romance writing, inspirational, sweet, erotic, suspense, well you get the picture!
Less than a week ago I received my eight books for judging How exciting! Judges have no idea what kind or what author's books they'll receive. Since I'm an avid reader, it was just like opening a Christmas gift to see what books were inside the box! Although I can't divulge the books, I received, I can say I'm excited to read new to me authors.
This isn't the first time I've judged a contest. I was a judge for another organization for unpublished authors where we judged the first chapter of their manuscript. This contest required judges to provide feedback to the author's so they could learn where their weaknesses were in their manuscript and polish it up before pitching to an agent or editor.
The RITA contest is judged by a point system with no feedback involved since the books are already published, which means they were agent/editor worthy!